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Archive for 'scones'

Super Easy Scone Recipe

I’ve posted several scone recipes during the last six months. My favorite recipes – Blueberry scones and Date and Orange Scones are easy to make. The fat content is the cream and it’s poured into the dry ingredients. Traditional scones require the rubbing of butter into the flour and I’m always too impatient to do it properly.

Then I found the following recipe on Baking Makes Things Better and it simplifies the entire process. I like a simple process.

Easy Scones

Easy Scones

50 grams (1  3/4 oz) butter

3/4 cup of milk

2 cups self-raising flour

1 teaspoon salt

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 210C (410F)

2. Melt the button and add the milk.

3. Place the flour and salt in a bowl and stir.

4. Wait until your oven reaches the required temperature then add the milk and butter mix. If you want to make savory scones add grated cheese or cubes of ham or fresh chopped herbs at this stage. Combine. The mix will be slightly wet.

5. Knead to shape and roll out but don’t handle dough too much.

6. Cut into shapes. I used a round cutter.

7. Line a tray with baking paper and place on your scones.

8. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes until golden..

Shelley’s Notes:

1. I added cheese to mine. You could also add dates or sultanas or herbs or just leave them plain.

2. They’re best eaten straight from the oven or when still warm.

3. I served mine with jam and thick greek yoghurt since I didn’t have cream. Whipped cream would be delicious.

Blueberry Scones

Blueberry Scones

Since I had a bottle of cream in the fridge, I decided to make scones today. I also had some fresh blueberries. Yes, I thought. A marriage made in heaven.

These scones are incredibly easy and quick – a no-fail recipe.

Blueberry Scones

4 cups self-raising flour

pinch of salt

300 ml/ 10 fluid ounces cream

300 ml/ 10 fluid ounces lemonade or soda water

Generous handful of fresh blueberries

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the center.

3. Add the cream and lemonade or soda water. Toss in the blueberries. Mix together carefully until you have a soft dough. Do not handle the dough too much.

4. Turn the dough onto a well floured board and roll (gently) into a rectangle. Cut into around 12 pieces and place on your baking tray.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

6. Remove from oven, place on a clean tea towel to keep until ready to serve.

7. Serve with whipped cream and jam or plain butter if you prefer.

Shelley’s Notes:

1. If you don’t like blueberries, replace with 1/2 cup of raisins, dates or dried cranberries. You could also add grated cheese or leave the scones plain and sprinkle the top with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.

2. Americans – use a can of Sprite for the lemonade or you could use fizzy mineral water.

Eat and enjoy!

Making the Perfect Scone

When I was a child my mother made a lot of scones. Since we lived in the country, it wasn’t easy to run out to buy a loaf of bread. Whenever we ran out of bread, mostly during the weekends when we were eating her out of house and home, she’d whip up a batch of scones. I remember cheese scones, warm from the oven, slathered with butter and date or sultana scones heaped with jam and whipped cream. My mum made excellent scones.

In the past I’ve tried making scones, with mixed results. Although the ingredients are basic, they’re tricky to make.

Here are some tips I’ve discovered along the way:

1. Work quickly and don’t over handle your scone dough.

2. Pre-heat the oven. Scones should be cooked in a super hot oven.

3. Most scone recipes tell you to rub in the butter. I find it easier and quicker to grate the butter into the dry ingredients.

4. The dough should be on the moist side rather than dry.

5. New Zealand cook, Alison Holst suggests that if you have problems with your scones, don’t make plain ones where every imperfection is evident. Try pinwheel scones or twist-type scones.

Cranberry Scones

Cranberry Scones

Ingredients:

3 cups plain flour

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

50g butter/ .44 stick butter

1 + 1/2 cups of milk

Method:

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Grate in the butter. Add the milk and mix quickly without overmixing (most important!). Place on a floured board and roll lightly until about 15mm (3/4 inch) thick. Cut into squares or use a cutter to cut out rounds.

Bake in a hot oven pre-heated to 230C (450F) for 10 minutes.

Makes around 16 scones

Cranberry Scones

Shelley’s Notes

1. I added cranberries to my scones – around 1/2 cup. You can add sultanas, chopped dates or add cheese to make savory scones.

2. I cut my scones a little bigger and ended up with 14.

3. I served my scones with cherry jam and thick Greek yoghurt I’d made. Normally, I’d go for jam and whipped cream.

4. If you have trouble with scones try this recipe-Date and Orange scones-with cream and Sprite. It’s pretty fail proof.

Cranberry Scones

Are you a scone fan? Is there a recipe from your childhood that you like to make?

The One About Afternoon Tea

Thursday Thirteen

Recently my husband took me to a traditional afternoon tea at Cornwell Park in Central Auckland. It’s always fun setting aside the jeans for something a little dressier and enjoying the occasion. Our afternoon tea inspired my TT this week.

Thirteen Things About Afternoon Tea

1. We had our afternoon tea at the Cornwall Park Restaurant. They’ve been selling refreshments and cups of tea since 1908.

Cornwall Park Restaurant

2. Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is said to have invented afternoon tea. At the time most people ate two meals during the day—breakfast and dinner, which was taken late in the evening (around 8 pm). The Duchess started to have light refreshments and a pot of tea in the afternoon. She invited friends to join her and took the habit with her when she returned to London. Other women liked the habit so much, they started to follow suit. Afternoon tea was born.

Cornwell Park, Afternoon Tea

3. A traditional afternoon tea consists of scones (usually still warm from the oven) served with jam and cream, a selection of sandwiches (usually egg, ham, salmon, cucumber) and finished with a selection of delicious cakes. This is all washed down with lots of cups of tea.

Afternoon Tea selection

4. Tea was first drunk in China and it’s said that Catherine of Braganza, the consort of Charles II first introduced tea to England.

5. The British government placed taxes on tea, which meant smugglers played a big part in bringing tea into the country. They found that churches were excellent places to hide their smuggled goods.

Lapsang Souchong tea

6. I chose Lapsang Souchong tea, which has a very smoky taste, while Mr. Munro chose Nepal Masala Chai tea with cinnamon, ginger and cloves.

7. No one knows where scones originated, but they’ve always been associated with England, Scotland and Ireland. It’s thought that they most likely came from Scotland.

8. Our scones came served with whipped cream and raspberry jam. Personally, I prefer them with clotted cream. Yum!

9. Clotted cream is thick cream, which is obtained by heating milk slowly and allowing it to cool. The cream content rises to the top in coagulated lumps. It’s decadent and delicious and not exactly good for you Who me?

10. John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich is associated with the sandwich. He loved to gamble and didn’t want to leave his game. He ordered his valet to bring him meat placed between two slices of bread. Other men called for meals the same as Sandwich.

11. We had egg, salmon and ham sandwiches, but most British afternoon teas have cucumber sandwiches. Here’s a link to two versions of a cucumber sandwich that look delicious.

12. Cakes. Yummy cakes in small bite sized pieces. We had chocolate cake, lemon meringue pie, sticky date, lemon friands, a flourless nut cake. Chocolate eclairs are also a good addition. Just saying!

13. My favorite place to have afternoon tea is the Ritz in Picadilly, London. It takes place in the Palm Court, and there’s a dress code. No jeans allowed. This is something that must be booked ahead of time—weeks ahead—but it’s well worth it with relaxing piano music and very attentive waiters. Here’s the menu for the Ritz afternoon tea.  I highly recommend this experience if you’re ever in London.

Are you a fan of afternoon tea? Do you have a favorite afternoon tea spot?

Yummy Date & Orange Scones

Our local reality show, Nestle Hottest Home Baker has captured my attention, and I sit glued to the set each week to watch the on screen action. My favorite baker has been voted off the show, so I’ve had to shift my allegiance. I chose one of the contestant’s recipes to make for my March test recipe. They turned out really well and were delicious.

Ingredients:

Scone Ingredients

1 cup dates chopped
Zest of 2 oranges
Juice of 2 oranges
1 Cinnamon Stick
A little sugar

Place these ingredients into a pot, melt and cook until it goes thick and caramelises. Note – my oranges didn’t have much juice, so I used some orange juice we had in the fridge. I added a little at a time until the dates sucked it up and I had a lovely thick mixture. Cool mixture.

4 cups self-raising flour
300ml cream (half a pint)
¼ cup sugar
1 can lemonade (Sprite)
½ tsp salt
Cinnamon sugar (make your own by mixing a few teaspoons of sugar with a little cinnamon)

Place flour and salt in a bowl. Add the date mixture and mix. Pour in cream and lemonade. Mix all ingredients into a smooth dough in a bowl. Tip out onto floured bench and cut out or shape. I just used a sharp knife and cut rough squares. Place scones just touching each other on tray. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 220 degrees Celsius (425 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15-20 mins until starting to colour pale golden. Place on a tea towel on a wire rack.

Shelley’s notes: I used a fan bake oven, which cooks quicker. My scones were ready after ten minutes of cooking. My mix was quite damp and sticky. I sprinkled just enough flour on it for me to pat it into shape and cut into smaller squares.

The recipe is a hybrid of Chelsea Sugar & Good Taste Australia & Courtney from Nestle Hottest Home Baker.

Date & Orange Scones

This is the final product. I ate them warm with raspberry jam or a little butter. You could use jam and whipped cream as a topping or your favorite jam or jelly. I froze the leftovers, and they tasted just as good heated a little in the microwave after I’d thawed them out. My March recipe was a big success.